Back Top 10 things to see and do in Somiedo
Top 10 things to see and do in Somiedo
Somiedo was the first Natural Park in Asturias, and was also declared a Biosphere Reserve. It is therefore an ideal place for contact with nature and the rural environment.
Somiedo, in the southern zone of Asturias, is a true paradise. It was the first Asturian area designated as a Natural Park in 1988, and twelve years later, in 2000, it received the declaration of Biosphere Reserve.
Somiedo is an ideal place for connecting with nature, and for becoming aware of the rural environment and its people.
Additionally, it's one of the few places in Asturias that has two towns recognized as Exemplary Villages by the Princess of Asturias Foundation: Villar de Vildas in 2004, and Santa María del Puerto in 2021.
Top 10 Things to See and Do in Somiedo
LA POLA SOMIEDO, THE CAPITAL OF ENLIGHTENMENT
La Pola Somiedo, capital of the council of the same name, is a quiet village. With its charming and historic parish church of San Pedro, its bridge over the river and its accessible path, La Pola Somiedo composes a typical scene of a well-kept mountain village.
A visit to the Interpretation Center of the Natural Park of Somiedo is a must, as well as the Casa del Oso.
It is also the birthplace of the enlightened Álvaro Flórez-Estrada, lawyer, economist and politician of great importance, who lived between the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and whose birthplace is now a beautiful rural accommodation.
THE VAḶḶE/VALLEY OF THE LAKE AND THE LAKE OF THE VALLEY: A VILLAGE AND ITS ROUTE
The villages of Somedano are characterized by being clear exponents of the traditional legacy they have received and for being villages with a route, that is to say, in all of them there are paths that connect them with some other part.
Vaḷḷe/Valle del Lago is no exception. This quiet village is the gateway to Lago del Valle, which is approximately 6 kilometers away. It is 6 kilometers of history, ethnography, traditions, flora, fauna, geology and landscape that will undoubtedly leave you impressed.
SALIENCIA AND ITS LAKES, A WONDER OF NATURE
Saliencia is another of those areas of Somiedo that has a beautiful route. Because the lakes of Saliencia are deservedly famous for being one of the most beautiful places in Asturias. You can know them in a circular walk of 8 kilometers, simple and suitable for all audiences.
The Saliencia lakes are located in the heart of the Natural Park of Somiedo. They are a group of four lakes of glacial origin - Cueva, Calabazosa, Cerveriz and Almagrera -, which have been declared Natural Monuments, within the framework of the Somiedo Biosphere Reserve.
LA PORNACAL Y VIḶḶAR DE VILDAS: A VILLAGE AND ITS BRAÑA (HIGH PASTURELAND)
The Braña de La Pornacal and the village of Viḷḷar de Vildas are closely linked, so much so that one and the other can hardly be enjoyed or understood separately.
So it is extremely worthwhile to do the route that joins Viḷḷar de Vildas with La Pornacal, which is considered the largest and best preserved of all the brañas of Somiedo. It is also the one with the largest number of cabins, 33 in total. (In our header photo, a photograph of the braña of La Pornacal ©Camilo Alonso).
Retracing your steps, you will arrive back to Viḷḷar de Vildas, a beautiful village that was Exemplary Village of Asturias in 2004.
THE BRAÑA (HIGH PASTURELAND) OF MUMIÁN, SO THAT YOU CAN GET TO KNOW THE OLLERAS (POTS)
The brañas somedanas are an eternal discovery. A fascinating journey into the past, with a lot of substance. Fortunately, many brañas are preserved in Somiedo, and this will allow you to delve into this unique culture.
One of these brañas is Mumián, which you will reach by a beautiful route that begins in the vicinity of the village of El Ḷḷḷamardal, where you will start your journey on foot. From the village of El Ḷḷḷamardal, gently ascending, you will reach the Fuente'l Cañu, in the braña de Mumián, where you will have the immense pleasure of discovering the olleras, the constructions that were once used to preserve milk at a low temperature thanks to the coolness of the running water.
THE BRAÑA (HIGH PASTURELAND) DE SOUSAS OR THE SURPRISING WORLD OF THE "CORROS".
The Braña de Sousas is another of the mythical of Somiedo. You can reach it, going up from El Vaḷḷe/Valle del Lago, after passing through very interesting places like the Braña de Fuexo and the waterfall of the river Sousas. Or you can also find it going down from Santa María del Puertu.
At 1500 meters of altitude, this braña, which belongs to the neighbors of Urria, is formed by about twenty corros, the oldest constructive model. The corros are circular huts arranged in several rows of stone, and topped by a false dome of slabs, which is covered with tapinos - pieces of grass that improve insulation and waterproof the construction -. The corrals are grouped in pairs, one for the shepherd and the other for the young animals.
THE ECOMUSEUM OF SOMIEDO, IDEAL FOR EXPLAINING A RURAL CULTURE
The Ecomuseum of Somiedo shows you a unique culture and a unique world, and also has a unique configuration, since it has three different venues.
One of these nuclei is Veigas, a village located in the valley of the river Saliencia, where there are three houses that still conserve the "teito de escoba" or roofing, and which have an old structure and furniture.
Another of the sites of this eco-museum is in Caunéu, a village located near La Pola Somiedo with the Somiedo pass. Here, the old school, built in the middle of the 20th century, was used to show the different crafts of the council, as well as the history of the building and the livestock transhumance.
In the fairgrounds of La Pola Somiedo, four exhibitors have been set up in the same way as the "cabanas de teito", but with glass walls.
THE MALVA HYDROELECTRIC POWER STATION: THE STORY OF THE LIGHT THAT CAME FROM THE WATER
La Malva is the historic hydroelectric power station in Somiedo. It was the first electric power station in Asturias; it was a pioneer in the generation of renewable energy, using water from the rivers and lakes of Somiedo; it was the first one in which a woman worked, and it is one of the few in the world to be located in a Biosphere Reserve.
The building, both on the outside and inside, is really beautiful, and responds to the aesthetic and functional parameters of the constructions linked to the industrialisation experienced in Asturias at the dawn of the 20th century.
Moreover, the visit to La Malva, which can be arranged by appointment, is a suitable activity for the whole family, as it is entertaining and very educational.
THE VIEWPOINTS OF SOMIEDO, A REAL TREAT FOR YOUR SENSES
If there is one thing that Somiedo has in terms of landscape, it is a lot of charm, and also the possibility of contemplating splendid panoramic views from a series of viewpoints.
They are viewpoints in special places, whose views will give you the sensation of being immersed in a virgin and untamed nature, where human presence has been very respectful with the environment.
From the Príncipe viewpoint, inaugurated in 1990, in La Peral, to the Infanta Sofía viewpoint, inaugurated in 2021 in the vicinity of Santa María del Puertu, you have a varied menu of places to choose from: the Aguino viewpoint, the Lake of La Cueva, the Coto de Buenamadre, the Orderias, the Alto de San Lorenzo, the Robléu or the Castro, among other options.
SANTA MARÍA DEL PUERTU, EXEMPLARY VILLAGE 2021
The village of Santa María del Puertu was awarded as Exemplary Village 2021 by the Princess of Asturias Foundation. This place, exponent of the traditions and the cowboy culture, is a model of population fixation and adaptation to the new times.
Located in the highest part of the valley of the river Somiedo, at an altitude of almost 1,500 metres, it has the appearance and atmosphere of a mountain livestock farming village, and is an ideal place to take a break on the way, and to soak up the unique landscapes of Somiedo.
Bordering the province of León, it is also a place of passage for mountaineers and walkers, hiking and mountain enthusiasts, who enjoy the numerous routes in the area.